Sunday, April 15, 2007

Opera, Anyone?

A Regional Chronology of Operas, Composers and Librettists By Peter McKenzie-Brown
This is not meant to be a complete list of Western operas - thousands have been written and performed. Some are on this popular list because of their reputation only; most, however, are operas I have enjoyed on stage, film or DVD. Taken together, this list probably covers more than 95% of those produced around the world in a typical year. In that sense only - as a popular compendium of the great and the good - this list is complete. The inclusion of Les Miserables will be controversial among opera purists. Although this work has the dramatic depth and emotional intensity of opera, its characters use the vocal ranges of popular song, and the songs themselves often use the rhythms and tempos of pop music. Shouldn't we therefore sweep it away, into the category of stage musicals? In the end, it's a judgement call.
Italian Opera

Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (1567-1643):
• Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (1640) Libretto: Giacomo Badoaro
• L’incoronazione di Poppea (1642) Libretto: Giaouanni Francesco Busennello

Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868):
• The Barber of Seville (1815) Libretto: Cesare Sterbini • La Cenerentola (1816) Libretto: Jacopo Ferretti
• Elisabetta Regina d’Inghilterra (1815) Libretto: Giovanni Schmidt
• Semiramide (1823) Libretto: Gaetano Rossi
• Guillaume Tell (1829) Libretto: Victor Joseph Etienne de Jouy and Hippolyte Louis Florent Bis


Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (1797-1848):
• Anna Bolena (1830) Libretto: Felice Romani
• L’elisir d’amore (1832) Libretto: Felice Romani
• Lucia di Lammermoor (1835) Libretto: Salvatore Cammarano
• La fille du regiment (1840) Libretto: Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean Francois Alfred Bayard
• Don Pasquale (1843) Libretto: The composer and Giovanni Ruffini


Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835):
• La Somnambula (1831) Libretto: Felice Romani
• Norma (1831) Libretto: Felice Romani
• I Puritani (1835) Libretto: Carlo Pepoli

  Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901):
• Nabucco (1840) Libretto: Temistocle Solera
• I due Foscari (1844) Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave
• Atilla (1846) Libretto: Temistocle Solera
• Macbeth (1847) Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave
• Luisa Miller (1849) Libretto: Salvatare Cammarano
• Il Trovatore (1851) Libretto: Salvatore Cammarano and Leone Emanuele Bardare
• Rigoletto (1852) Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave
• La Traviata (1853) Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave
• Un Ballo in Maschera (1859) Libretto: Antonio Somma
• La Forza del Destino (1863) Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave
• Don Carlos (1865) Libretto: Francois Joseph Mery and Camille du Locle
• Aida (1871) Libretto: Antonio Ghislanzoni
• Simon Boccanegra (1857/1881) Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave/Arrigo Boito
• Otello (1883) Libretto: Arrigo Boito
• Falstaff (1892) Libretto: Arrigo Boito


Arrigo Boito (1842-1918):
• Mefistofele (1868) Libretto: Arrigo Boito

Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886):
• La Gioconda (1876) Libretto: Arrigo Boito

Pietro Maskagni (1863-1945):
• Cavalleria Rusticana (1890) Libretto: Guido Menasci and Giovanni Targioni-Tozetti

Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919):
• Pagliacci (1892) Libretto: The composer


Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924):
 • Manon Lescaut (1893) Libretto: Marco Praga, Domenico Oliva, Luigi Illica, Giuseppe Giacosa, Giulio Ricordi
• La Bohème (1896) Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
• Tosca (1900) Libretto: Giuseppe Adami and Luigi Illica
• Madama Butterfly (1904) Libretto: Giuseppe Adami and Luigi Illica
• La Fanciulla del West (1910) Libretto: Guelfo Civinni and Carlo Zingarini
• Turandot (1924) Libretto: Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni

 Viennese and German Opera

Georg Fredrich Handel (1685-1759):
 • Tamerlano (1724) Libretto: Piovene Agostino (adapted by Nicola Francesco Haym)

Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787):
• Iphigenie en Tauride (1779) Libretto: Nicholas-François Guillard
 Antonio Salieri (1750-1825):
• Tarare (1787) Libretto: Gaetano Rossi


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791):
• Le nozze di Figaro (Marriage of Figaro) (1786) Libretto: Lorenza da Ponte
• Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Abduction from the Seraglio) (1786) Libretto: Johann Gottlieb Stephanie, based on text by Christoph Friedrich Brezner
• Don Giovanni (1787) Libretto: Lorenza da Ponte
• Così fan tutte (1790) Libretto: Lorenza da Ponte
• Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) (1791) Libretto: Emanuel Schickaneder

 Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827):
• Fidelio (1815) Libretto: Joseph Ferdinand von Sonnleithner, Stephan von Breuning and George Friedrich Treitschke

Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826):
• Der Freischutz (1821) Libretto: Friedrich Kind


Richard Wagner (1813-1883):
• Der Fliegender Hollander (The Flying Dutchman) (1843)
• Tannhauser (1845)
• Lohengrin (1850) • Tristan und Isolde (1859)
• Der Meistersinger von Nurrenberg (1865)
• The Ring Cycle:
 o Das Rheingold (1869)
 o Die Walkure (1870)
 o Siegfried (1876)
 o Gotterdammerung (1876)
• Parsifal (1882) All libretti by the composer

Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921):
 • Hansel und Gretel (1893) Libretto: Adelheid Wette, the composer’s sister.

Johann Strauss (1825-1899):
• Die Fledermaus (1874) Libretto: Carl Haffner and Richard Genee


Richard Strauss (1864-1948):
• Salome (1905) Libretto: Oscar Wilde, translated into German by Hedwig Lachman
• Electra (1909) Libretto: Hugo van Hoffsmanthal
• Der Rosenkavalier (1911) Libretto: Hugo van Hoffsmanthal
• Ariadne auf Naxos (1916) Libretto: Hugo van Hoffsmanthal
• Der Frau ohne Schatten (1919) Libretto: Stefan Zweig
• Arabella (1933) Libretto: Hugo van Hoffsmanthal
• Cappriccio (1943) Libretto: Clemens Kraus

 Franz Lehar (1870-1948):
• Die Lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow) (1905) Libretto: Viktor Leon and Leo Stein


Alban Berg (1885-1935):
• Wozzeck (1925) Libretto: The composer

Rich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957):
• Die tote Stadt (1917) Libretto: The composer

French Opera Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864):
• Les Huguenots (1837) Libretto: Eugene Scribe and Emile Deschamps
• Le prophete (1849) Libretto: Eugene Scribe
• L’Africaine (1865) Libretto: Eugene Scribe

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869):
• Les Troyens (composed 1856-1858; first fully produced 1972) Libretto: The composer

Charles Gounod (1818-1893):
• Faust (1859) Libretto: Jules Barbier and ichel Carr
• Romeo and Juliet (1867) Libretto: Jules Barbier and Michel Carr

Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880):
• Les Contes d’Hoffman (1881) Libretto: Jules Barbier and Michel Carré

Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
• Samson et Dalila (1877) Libretto: Ferdinand Lemaire
 
Georges Bizet (1838-1875):
• Carmen (1875) Libretto: Henri Moilhac and Ludovic Halevy


Jules Massenet (1842-1912):
• Manon (1884) Libretto: Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille
• Thais (1892) Libretto: Louis Gallet

Claude Debussy (1862-1918):
• Pelleas et Melisande (1902) Libretto: The composer

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963):
• Dialogues des Carmelites (1957) Libretto: Georges Bernanos

Claude-Michel Schönberg (1944- ):
• Les Miserables (1985) Libretto: Herbert Kretzmer, after Alain Boublil, based on Victor Hugo’s novel

Czech and Russian Opera

Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857):
• Zhizn za tsarya (Life for the Tsar) (1836) Libretto: Georgi von Rosen, based on Alexandr Pushkin
• Ruslan and Lyudmila (1842) Libretto: The composer, Konstantin Bakhturin, et. al., after the poem by Alexander Pushkin

Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884):
• Prodana nevesta (The Bartered Bride) (1870) Libretto: Karel Sabina

Alexander Borodin (1833-1887)
• Prince Igor (1890) Libretto: The composer, after Vladimir Vasil'yevich Stasov

Modest Mussorgski (1839-1881):
• Boris Gudonov (1874) Libretto: The composer


Peter Illych Tschaikovsky (1840-1893):
• Eugene Onegin (1879) Libretto: The composer
• Mazeppa (1884) Libretto: The composer

Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904)
• Rusalka (1901) Libretto: Jaroslav Kvapil

Sergei Prokofieff (1891-1953)
• War and Peace (1944) Libretto: The composer and Mira Mendelson

British and North American Opera


Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1836-1911); Librettist, William Schwenck Gilbert (1842-1900):
• Trial by Jury (1875)
• The Sorcerer (1877)
• H.M.S. Pinafore, or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor (1878) • The Pirates of Penzance, or, The Slave of Duty (1879) • Iolanthe, or, The Peer and the Peri (1882)
• The Mikado, or, The Town of Titipu (1885)
• The Yeomen of the Guard, or, The Merryman and his Maid (1888)
• The Gondoliers, or, The King of Barataria (1889)

 Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971):
• The Rake’s Progress (1971) Libretto: W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman

George Gershwin (1898-1937):
• Porgy and Bess (1934) Libretto: Debose Heyward and Ira Gershwin Benjamin Britten (1913-1976):
• Peter Grimes (1945) Libretto: Montagu Slater
• Albert Herring (1947) Libretto:Eric Crozier
• Billy Budd (1951) Libretto: E.M. Forster and Eric Crozier
• Death in Venice (1973) Libretto: Myfanwy Piper

Carlyle Floyd (1926 - )
• Susannah (1954) Libretto: The composer

John Estacio (1966 - ):
• Filumena (2003) Libretto: John Murrell